Allan Levine, a history professor from Manitoba, has written an excellent article on critical thinking in today's Globe. An excerpt from the article offers a clear and concise explanation of the concept, and what its goals are:
“Critical thinking is self-guided, self-disciplined thinking which attempts to reason at the highest level of quality in a fair-minded way,” explains Linda Elder, an educational psychologist and president of the Foundation for Critical Thinking. “People who think critically consistently attempt to live rationally, reasonably and empathically. They work diligently to develop the intellectual virtues of intellectual integrity, intellectual humility, intellectual civility, intellectual empathy, intellectual sense of justice and confidence in reason.”
Illustrating its importance by examining the current controversy surrounding the building of a mosque a few blocks from the twin towers' terrorist attack, Levine demonstrates that those lofty goals are well-worth striving for throughout our lives, even if complete attainment eludes us.